Austen Walter born 7th March 2015, 5.51am, 8pd11oz, 53cm long. 5 days before his guess date.
On Friday the 6th of March I was at my mums house discussing work and helping her with speedway. There was a massive speedway state title being held in town this weekend and my family and friends had spent a lot of time organising the event. Everyone kept telling me that I had to hold this baby in till Sunday once the racing had finished.
In my mind (as this was my second birth) I thought I’d go over and end up being induced as my first son was 12 days past his guess date and we spent 3 days in the labour room trying to get things going which included numerous forms of induction. But our little Austen had other ideas and whilst I was talking to mum I got up to help my brother do something for my eldest son when my waters broke spontaneously.
It took me about 15 minutes to stop shaking and to settle into my zone. My husband had been working out of town and he honestly thought I was joking when I called him to say that today was the day. I spent the next few hours in the shower as my waters kept releasing.
We left mums and headed home about 4.30ish where I though it might be a good idea to pack my bag for the hospital, print my birth preferences and organise a couple of other things. Around 6pm my son Grayden and younger brother Sean arrived at my home and instantly my brain and body when into hiding mode I had to retreat to my bedroom where I could be quite and as my surges had started to be every 5-10 mins.
In between surges I was happy, talking and texting my doula & hypnobirthing instructor Rebekah. I had used hypnobirthing when I birthed Grayden but I wanted to be more prepared this time and knew I wanted Rebekah to attend my second birth as my doula.
I am the type of person who finds it really hard to let go of thoughts and tend to churn things over in my brain. This is where I found comfort in hypnobirthing because it taught me to let go and trust my body, be loose and be relaxed. I had done a couple of fear release sessions because of late I had noticed the number of emergency c-sections that were happening and I knew how close I was to having one during my last birth. I was doing everything in my power to not end up with a c-section this time around.
At 7.25pm surges were starting to get closer and longer and I knew it was time to get Rebekah over. When Rebekah arrived I was standing in the kitchen in between surges, smelling the clary sage and admiring all of my birthing affirmations and pictures I had printed ready for the hospital.
Things kept moving and I managed to sleep for an hour at 11pm but at 1.30pm I was laying back down when I felt this massive surge and then a pop and that’s when I’m sure the baby engaged. I got up and showered and woke my husband to tell him it was time to head to the hospital. My surges were lasting about a minute and were 3 mins apart my body was telling me it was go time. Thankfully we live less than 5 mins from the hospital but I had to time getting into and out of the car around my surges and signal to my husband when to drive slowly.
When we arrived at the labour ward we hit the jackpot with the midwives that were on. We had Katrina the same midwife that had supported Bek with her first hypnobirth just over two years ago. She read my birth preferences and then told me that if she asks to do something there is a good reason why, instantly I trusted her. Katrina was fantastic she monitored me when I was ready but basically just sat there watching me progress.
It was so different to my first birth which was constant monitoring due to being induced and on a drip. This time I felt like I was hardly touched and just left to do my thing. The hardest stage was when I was transitioning, there was so many times when I would say to myself – can I do this and I turn around and say yes I can. Or I would hear one of the birthing prompts say something like, “let go, relax, trust your body” and instantly get back in my zone.
During my surges Bek and Jared would both do light touch massage. I was so grateful for my body letting me rest between each surge and I felt like I was asleep but when my body was ready it surged good and hard. I wanted the surges, I wanted to meet my baby.
Katrina asked if she could give me a quick examination, this would be my first examination during my whole pregnancy. She could see that the baby was getting stressed when I felt the urge to bear down. She told be all it could be is a little bit of cervix had to be moved as the babies head couldn’t get passed it.
It took me a few minutes to get my head into the place of this is ok, everything is still ok and I finally got up on to the bed. She was right, as soon as the cervix had been moved my urge to bear down was greater and I just had to get off that bed. I wanted to try sitting in the birth stool but I didn’t quite make it. I ended up squatting on the floor against another chair in the room where my mum had been sitting for the last couple of hours. Mum had gone outside for a quick break as my last birth my second stage took 4 hours so no one expected things to move this quickly.
Jared and Bek kept up with the massage and were both sponging me with wet towels because I felt so hot. I wanted to be sick but I could feel my baby heading down the birth canal, I had the voice of Ina May Gaskin in my head telling me I’m going to get huge.
Katrina told me to reach down between my legs and feel my babies head. I then was shown a mirror and got too see my little ones head. It was so close now it was perfect.
Within a few minutes our little Austen was born. I picked him up and laid on the bed and held him and cried tears of joy !! I did it, on my own, I birthed my own baby. I couldn’t believe it. But I couldn’t have done it without my birth support team. They were amazing and had my back the entire time.
Little Austen is now 3 days old and I can’t get over how well I have recovered this time around compared to my first birth. It’s all seemed so easy and really enjoyable. I think I’m still on my birth high. It’s like Austen slipped into this world without a single worry.
Esperence, WA (taught by Hypnobirthing Australia Practitioner Rebekah Barlow)